Who knew there are so many fun facts about alcohol? For example:
- You need around 600 grapes (and a lot of stain remover!) to make a bottle of red wine
- Milkshakes originally contained alcohol
- There are about 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne
- “Cenosillicaphobia” is the scientific name for the fear of having an empty glass. Try saying that three times fast!
There are also plenty of not-so-fun facts about booze. Did you know that fizzy drinks make hangovers worse? Or that overdoing it with alcohol costs the Canadian economy $24 billion a year? (That’s around $800 per adult.)
A recent study, meanwhile, recommends that Canadians stick to a maximum of two drinks per week to reduce the risk of negative health consequences such as breast cancer and colon cancer. It also found that knocking back more than seven drinks a week increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Lots of Canadians are drinking less these days
There’s a lot to be said for avoiding hangovers, gaining health benefits, looking and sleeping better, and thinking more clearly. No wonder a growing number of Canadians are trying to consume less alcohol or stop altogether.
Nearly a quarter of respondents to a recent Statistics Canada survey said they drank less during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is about the same amount as those who said they drank more. Here’s another fun fact that might surprise you: About half of the world’s adult population doesn’t drink at all.
Of course, cutting back on booze is easier said than done. Drinking is a big part of Canadians’ social lives, especially during holidays and other special events. There is no need to skip social events just because people are drinking and you don’t want to.
Tips for socializing without alcohol
Here are some easy ways to socialize without alcohol while still enjoying a healthy social life:
Set a time limit
If you expect a situation or event to be too boozy for your liking, give yourself an hour to see how it unfolds. If you’re not enjoying yourself or feeling uneasy after the time elapses, then…
Feel free to leave
Remember that time your buddy left a party before you did? Didn’t think so! There’s no need to feel bad about making an early exit. On that note…
Have an exit strategy
Planning your route home ahead of time means you don’t have to rely on anyone else or wait for the late-night drinkers to stumble out the door.
Many popular cocktails can be just as tasty with no booze. Pack a glass with ice cubes, pour over tonic water, diet cola or Clamato, and squeeze in some fresh lime or lemon. The result is just as refreshing and tasty as a regular gin and tonic, vodka and cola, or bloody Caesar.
If you want to take your mocktail game to the next level, check out these tasty alcohol-free options.
Do you know what looks exactly like a gin and tonic or vodka and soda? A rocks glass filled with ice and sparkling water, and garnished with a lemon or lime.
It’s easy to add some pizzazz to this bubbly H2O with the many natural additives out there. Get creative by stirring in fresh mint, cinnamon, or a few drops of maple syrup. Fizz + flavour = delicious!
Three cheers for near beer!
No- and low-alcohol brews have come a long way over the past few years, with well-known brands upping their games and Canadian craft breweries jumping into the action. There are plenty of satisfying alcohol-free beer options available across the country.
Make plans to do something early the next morning
Make plans to do something early in the morning the day after your social event. Go for a hike or plan to head out early for a full day of skiing or snowboarding. That way, you’ll be less tempted to give in to social pressure. You will wake up and revel in the smug satisfaction of knowing how being good to your body feels great. Plus, positive reinforcement works wonders for changing old habits.
An important note about alcohol disorders
The tips above are intended for casual or light drinkers who are trying to cut down. If someone has an alcohol addiction, they need to speak with a healthcare professional to come up with a safe treatment plan. Check out these resources to get the ball rolling.
What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink? Share in the comments below!